Push-ups are a great way to strengthen your upper body. It's not how many push-ups you do, but how well you do each one that will make a difference.
1. Lie on the floor face down, palms on the floor directly under your elbows, shoulders pulled down and back toward your spine and away from your ears, abdominals lifted up and in to support your spine and keep it straight throughout the push-up. Keep your eyes focused on the floor, breathe in and, as you exhale, push up off the floor from your toes. Tighten your gluteal (buttock) muscles and quadriceps muscles (at the front of the thighs) to help keep your entire body from the hips down straight during the push-up.
2. Exhale as you push up from your hands and toes from the floor. Keep your mind focused on pushing off the floor using your chest muscles and squeeze them as you push your body weight off the floor. Pause at the top without locking your elbows or allowing your hips to fall out of alignment, breathe in, then lower slowly as you exhale.
Rest on the floor between repetitions, or for a greater challenge, lower, pause without resting on the floor and push up to repeat.
Repetitions and sets Aim for 10 reps at a time, rest for 30 seconds to one minute and repeat for two to three sets.
Canadian Living's home and garden director shows off her curves in a body con dress.
Photography by Carlyle Routh. Hair by Jukka/Davines/Plutino Group. Makeup by Jodi Urichuk/Bite Beauty/Plutino Group.
Have you ever flirted with the idea of trying a daring style but weren't quite sure how to pull it off? We found six women who were intrigued by a trend they usually avoid, then we gave them the support and style advice to help them make it their own. Here, Canadian Living's home and garden director, Sarah Gunn, steps out in a body con dress.
Much like Sarah's decor esthetic, sunny hues and pretty pastels are her wardrobe mainstays, along with ladylike fit-and-flare frocks. But there's one item of clothing Sarah has always admired on other women yet hasn't slipped into herself: a body-conscious dress. "I have curves—some in the right places and some not—and I'm not sure how to enhance the good ones and hide the bad ones in a formfitting style," says Sarah.
Karl Lagerfeld dress, $189, thebay.com. Earrings, bracelets, ring and shoes, bananarepublic.ca. Clutch, coach.com.
The first step to feeling confident in a body-hugging dress is a good foundation, a.k.a. undergarments. Sarah donned a Shapeez Tankee slip ($125, shapeez.com), an all-in-one bra, slip and shaper that helps eliminate visible bra lines and back bulges while slimming the waist and the stomach. When it comes to choosing a fitted dress, keep it sophisticated; we selected a style with elbow length sleeves and a high neckline, allowing Sarah's silhouette and her legs to be highlighted. Finally, the dress features black panels on the sides, which ever so slightly cinch the waist, helping to create the illusion of a more defined midriff.
Warm up in style this winter with this super soft—and luxurious—alpaca yarn wrap.
Cuddle up with the Banff Wrap – an extra soft wrap knit in a luxurious alpaca yarn. The wrap is knit with two strands of Eco Alpaca DK yarn held together, and the ombre effect is created simply by alternating the colours of the strands – a lot simpler than it sounds! The large finished wrap is the perfect size to keep you warm from indoors to outdoors, fall to winter.
The Banff Wrap is knit in three sections – each one with a different colour combination. When you run out of yarn for one colour combination, you switch to the next. The instructions clearly explain how to switch between colour sections, so you can smoothly transition and avoid mistakes. If you desire a smaller or larger wrap, simply subtract or add stitches when you cast on, but it is important to remember that your cast on must remain an odd number.
Materials: - 7 Skeins of Americo Eco Alpaca DK (100% Superfine Alpaca) 100g / 262 yards (240 m) - 7 mm (US10.75) 24-inch (60 cm) circular needles - Yarn needle
Contrast Colour AA Eco Alpaca DK in a dark colour 3 Skeins
Contrast Colour AB Eco Alpaca DK, one strand of colour A and one of B
Contrast Colour BB Eco Alpaca DK in a light colour 4 Skeins
Note about the yarn:Eco Alpaca DK is available through Americo Original online and at select yarn stores. You can substitute for other DK weight yarns in your stash. Remember that you will need 3 skeins of one colour, and 4 skeins of a second colour.
Measurements: One Size – 67 inches (170 cm) in length and 23.5 inches (60 cm) in width
Gauge: 13 stitches and 17 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in garter stitch using 7 mm (US10.75) size needles or size needed to achieve gauge
K, k: knit
P, p: purl
CC: contrast colour
This pattern is knit using 2 strands of yarn at the same time.
Section 1: Colour AA
Using 2 strands of colour A held together, cast on 79 stitches
Purl 2 rows
Begin Seed Stitch Pattern:
R1: K2 *(p1, k1), repeat from * to last 3 stitches, p1, k2
Repeat row 1 until you have used up 2 full skeins of colour A.
*Note: As new colours are added, make sure that they are joined on the same side of the work in order for the stitches to look consistent on both sides.
Section 2: Colour AB
Add colour B to the 3rd skein of colour A and with 2 strands held together continue knitting until you have used up colour AB.
Section 3: Colour BB
Using two strands of colour B held together continue knitting in seed stitch pattern until you have enough yarn to complete the following:
Repeat row 1 once more
Knit 2 rows.
Cast off and weave in ends…and enjoy your beautiful new wrap!
Americo Original is a Canadian yarn company and online knitting shop that features a high-end selection of yarns, textiles, custom knitwear patterns and accessories. Only natural fibers, produced especially for us in the Andean highlands of South America are offered, including luxurious wools, llama, alpaca, organic and premium cottons, linen, silk and cashmere. Americo's one-of-a kind runway pieces and classic styles for the hand knitter are created in our design lab. Americo is based in Toronto, Canada and ships internationally from their online store: americo.ca/shop.
When you have a handful of picky eaters to please, going out for Italian is a good start. But a few key ingredients and techniques can help you make delicious Italian recipes right in your kitchen. Try our tips for making the best Italian food at home.
1. Cook pasta until it’s al dente Restaurant-quality pasta should only be cooked to the point where it’s firm to the bite, as opposed to mushy. To ensure that your pasta isn’t overcooked, taste a strand of pasta one minute before the suggested cooking time indicated on the package directions. Then you’ll be able to best assess when to drain it.
2. Properly salt your pasta water Delicious pasta dishes start with well-seasoned pasta water. Pasta water should taste like the ocean, which requires more salt than you might think. Most of that salt doesn’t end up in your food, of course, but generously salting your water is the key to ensuring that you have a tasty canvas to work with. Use two tablespoons of iodized table salt per five quarts (20 cups) of water and 450g (one pound) of pasta. You can decrease that amount to one tablespoon if you want to use lightly salted pasta.
3. Use good quality extra-virgin olive oil Extra-virgin olive oil, made from the first pressing of the olives, is la crème de la crème of olive oils. It’s full-bodied, fruity and very flavourful. Use good-quality extra-virgin olive oil as a finishing oil to drizzle over salads, pasta or grilled meat or fish dishes. Though it costs more, it’s well worth the splurge.
4. Don’t buy pre-grated cheese Look for blocks of cheese and stay away from the already grated kinds, which are less fresh and less flavourful. Grate cheese using a microplane or grater for small shreds, or a vegetable peeler if want to top your dish with larger shavings.
5. Amp up your herb game Whether it’s garnishing a Caprese salad with fresh, torn basil, making gremolata to top grilled fish or tossing in some fresh parsley to finish a pasta primavera, fresh herbs are an essential part of Italian cooking. Look for fragrant herbs and add them generously to your favourite Italian dishes for an extra touch of freshness.
â€¨6. Keep it simple Italian food is all about simple recipes that showcase fresh, good-quality ingredients. Look for the best ingredients you can find, even if that means using them in smaller quantities. Good-quality fresh buffalo mozzarella, tuna packed in olive oil and paper-thin slices of cured meat will transform your meal from tasty to spectacular.
7. Let cheese come to room temperature before serving Love a good antipasto platter? Make sure to take cheeses out of the fridge about one hour before serving so the cheeses have the best flavour and texture.
Whip up a dozen moist muffins on a leisurely Sunday morning. Or better yet, set out the muffin recipe ingredients the night before and let the first person up bake a batch for everyone. Most of these muffin recipes can be made in advance and frozen.